Do you have what it Takes?


By Thamar Jones
So, you want to be an “it girl” (or guy) but you’re not sure how—or where to start. First off—what is the “IT” factor? We all know someone who has it. Someone whose personal charisma and appeal make him or her stand out like fireworks at New Year’s countdown. There’s just something about them that’s absolutely magnetic. They draw the attention and interest of people around them, seemingly effortlessly.
As far as I’m concerned, it’s that certain something—that nearly indefinable quality that certain people have about them—that causes others to be drawn to them. It’s a combination of confidence and charisma. According to one life coach Sue Henry, it’s more like “the invisible ‘thing’ a person has that makes them stand out in any crowd. It’s not because they talk loud, look like a supermodel, or do things to draw attention to themselves,” Henry adds, noting that her definition of the “It factor” involves three main points: Confidence with humility, genuine interest in others and a personal mission or “why” that is bigger than them.
However it’s defined, we all know the “it factor” when we see it. But while some people are born with it, others don’t come by it naturally. Good news, though, you can be, do and have anything you want, if you believe it. So that obviously includes getting a little bit of that “It Factor” for yourself. So how do you do that? Well, you do it by building your confidence, your charisma and your charm! Here’s a comprehensive plan to help you start developing your own “it factor.” Ready? Let’s go!
Getting the “It Factor”:
Reading self-improvement articles like this one can be a good start; however, unless you make a real effort to apply the strategies to your life, little is likely to change. There’s a big difference between knowing how to do a pushup and doing 100 pushups each day. Knowing what it takes to become self-confident won’t get the job done. Application is critical. Follow this plan to take control of your self-confidence:
Embrace change.
Change is uncomfortable, and there’s a good reason for this. Scientists believe that humans are slow to change because whatever we’re currently doing is perceived as successful. But, our ancient brains had a different idea of what constituted success. In the distant past, staying alive was challenging, and any new behavior might lead to death.
Realize that the discomfort you feel when you try something new is simply old instinct rising to the surface. Being uncomfortable usually isn’t a good reason not to do something. You can still move forward in spite of your discomfort.
Be happy that you’re uncomfortable. It means you’re doing something that might actually change your life. Continuing with your comfortable behaviors won’t make anything different.
Seek out a mentor.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to find a “guru” to hold your hand. But, there are plenty of people who have confidence in the areas where you’re experiencing challenges. Ask for help from someone who’s comfortable in an area where you lack confidence, such as in dating situations or public speaking. It’s much easier to be confident when you’re an expert. Learn everything you can and you’ll feel better about yourself.
Start small, but get started.
If you lack confidence in finding a potential romantic partner, try walking through the mall and making eye contact with those you find attractive. Then progress to smiling and saying hello. The next step could be to stop them and ask for directions. Being confident with one step makes the next one possible.
Track your progress.
It’s important to see the progress you’re making. Without progress, you won’t stick with your plan. Measure your anxiety on a subjective 1 to 100 scale in different situations. Celebrate when you see progress!
Evolve your plan over time.
Just as the same workout routine leads to stagnation, working on your self-confidence in the same fashion over a long period of time will lead to less than optimal results. Constantly evaluate and tweak your action plan.
Developing Charisma
Everyone knows charisma when they see it, yet it’s hard to define. Regardless, most people would agree that being charismatic is a good thing. Charismatic people are wonderful to be around and tend to lead successful lives. There are few characteristics that will do more to enhance your life than a possessing a high level of charisma. You’ll be happy to know that it’s a learnable skill, rather than one you’re just born with. If you’d like to increase your charisma, follow these tips:
Learn to be fully present in all your interactions.
Think about the charismatic people you know. Aren’t they fully engaged with you when you’re speaking? They make you feel like you’re the most fascinating person in the room.
Maintaining your focus and listening intently are great ways to accomplish this. Act like you’re in the midst of the most important and interesting conversation you’ve ever had. Listening and interacting makes the other person feel interesting and important.
Practice warmth.
Have you ever had a charismatic person treat you coldly or say something that insulted you? Of course not! Interacting with charismatic people is a pleasant experience. A huge part of being charismatic is making people feel good about themselves. Be supportive and positive. People will thank you for it.
Become more powerful and influential.
Most of us aren’t famous, wealthy, or influential. But fortunately, it’s possible to make others believe you’re powerful, without being dishonest. Here’s how you can do it.
Dress the part.
It’s rare to see a powerful individual dress in baggy khakis with frayed cuffs, and a faded, undersized jersey. Make an effort to look the part. Ensure your style is elegant.
Work on your nonverbal behavior.
If you’ve ever been in a meeting with a high-level executive, it’s easy to pick them out. There’s just something about the way they stand, sit, and move. Watch movies with powerful characters and observe their non-verbal behaviors.
Be confident.
It’s easy to be confident in situations where you know you have the upper hand. It’s tougher when you know that you don’t. But, if you can learn to be confident in all social situations, others will assume you have the upper hand.
Practice humility.
Have you ever met someone who’s super confident, but doesn’t have an ego? How’s that possible? When you’re charismatic, others believe you’re important, without it seeming like you’re more important than they are. Charisma is largely about making others believe they’re amazing. Being powerful and confident simply makes your opinion more valuable to them.
Try these steps and see how they add to your IT factor!